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Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 1995 Dec;49(5-6):299-304.

Effects of hCRH on sleep and body temperature rhythms.

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Department of Neuropsychiatry, Kurume University School of Medicine, Japan.


We investigated the effects of human corticotropin-releasing hormone (hCRH) on the sleep structure and body temperature rhythms of seven healthy young men. Polysomnographic recordings were obtained and body temperatures were monitored continuously for 48 h in each subject following the intravenous administration of saline or of 100 micrograms hCRH. The administration of hCRH was associated with a significant phase-advancement in body temperature rhythm vs the saline control. The administration of hCRH affected non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep by reducing significantly slow wave sleep (SWS) and sleep efficiency, whereas the percentage of sleep stages 1 and 2 were increased significantly. These changes in body temperature rhythms and sleep structure induced by hCRH resembled those observed in patients with endogenous depression, except for the findings during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. We hypothesize that a hypersecretion of hCRH in patients with endogenous depression may help to explain the changes in body temperature rhythms and sleep structure often reported in such patients.

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